The Owen Sound Attack used a three goal 3rd period to double up the Erie Otters by a score of 6-3 en route to taking a 2-1 lead in the Western Conference Championship Series.
Petrus Palmu and Ethan Szypula both scored twice while adding an assist, while Nick Suzuki totalled three helpers to lead the way for the Attack, who also got goals from Jacob Friend and Maksim Sushko on the evening.
Erie opened the scoring on an awkward play just 4:20 into the game when a rebound bounced out to the point and onto the stick of Jordan Sambrook who quickly snapped the puck past a screened Michael McNiven and into the back of the net.
The Attack weren’t deterred, and quickly responded with a pair of tallies of their own.
First, it was Petrus Palmu bringing the Bayshore faithful back to life with a cannon of a snapshot at 6:32 of the frame to make it 1-1. Sean Durzi and Ethan Szypula assisted on Palmu’s 11th of the playoffs, a goal that got the Bears rolling.
Riding the momentum of Palmu’s goal, Owen Sound scored just 71 seconds later, this time finding the back of the net on a Jacob Friend one-timer. Nick Suzuki picked up the lone assist on the play, which was scored after the draft eligible forward forced Erie goaltender Troy Timpano to misplay the puck behind the cage, allowing the Attack to go up 2-1.
Owen Sound continued to press as the period wore down, and after trading powerplays with the Otters, the Attack picked up another man advantage with 35 seconds left in the period before carrying over into the middle stanza.
Like their first chance on man advantage the Attack were unable to score, but that didn’t stop them from eventually finding the back of the net once action returned to five-on-five.
A solid forecheck by the Attack’s Maksim Sushko, Cordell James, and Ethan Szypula saw Sushko chip the puck to Szypula behind the net.
Szypula then stepped out from behind the goal line and immediately fired the puck at Troy Timpano. The puck bounced off of Timpano’s back and into the back of the cage for a 3-1 Owen Sound advantage at the 3:04 mark of the stanza.
The Otters cut into that lead just after the 10:00 mark of the frame, however, when Taylor Raddysh found the back of the net on a delayed penalty call to Ethan Szypula.
Erie kept coming in waves, too, and they were able to even things up before the teams broke for the intermission.
With 50 seconds left in the period, and after an extended bout of pressure in the Attack zone, Alex DeBrincat tucked a rolling puck past McNiven and into the net to make it a 3-3 game heading into the 3rd period.
It took 9:04 of game time in the final frame to break that three goal deadlock, and when the next goal came it was courtesy of Maksim Sushko.
After a solid cycle by the Attack, Sushko was Johnny-on-the-spot and banged home a centering pass from Nick Suzuki to give the home side a one goal lead. Matthew Struthers also assisted on the play, which ramped up the intensity in another close game between the Midwest Division foes.
The game was blown a bit more open by Owen Sound with under 5:00 to play though on a highlight reel goal by Ethan Szypula.
Petrus Palmu started the play by lifting a soft backhander up into the air and down the ice to a streaking Szypula, who held onto the puck before roofing his 2nd of the game over top of Timpano to make it 5-3.
Palmu then iced the game, scoring into an empty net with 18 seconds in regulation to cement the win for the Attack in a 6-3 affair. Nick Suzuki picked up the lone assist on the play, giving him his 3rd helper of the game.
Szypula was named the Mac Taylor Corporation 1st Star of the Game, finishing the night with two goals and one assist while his teammates Nick Suzuki and Petrus Palmu were named 2nd and 3rd stars respectively.
The Attack and Otters continue the series on Wednesday, Apr. 26 when Game 4 of the Western Conference Championship Series commences at 7:00pm at the Harry Lumley Bayshore Community.
Tickets are available for purchase at the MacVicar & McComb ReMax Attack Box Office. Season ticket holders are reminded that they have until 1:00pm on Tuesday, Apr. 25 to claim their seats before they get released for sale to the general public.